(to be taken with a pinch of salt!)

Several recent reports in the media have bemoaned the dwindling amount of time set aside for school sports and games, with education inspectors saying there’s not enough strenuous physical activity in many of England’s school PE lessons.

Football, rugby, tennis, hockey, golf, netball, tag, archery... are you personally feeling a deep sense of loss for time spent doing secondary school games or are you glad of the step away from these active lessons? And what about that big school sports day event - are you a lover or a hater of it?

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School Games - are they everyone's idea of fun?

Now, these latest statistics may upset some athletic types, who would much rather be out on the field with their team being active come rain or shine than be sat with their nose in a book, listening to the droning sound of an educational tape or - dare we say - their teacher's voice. For others, however, this may be music to their ears as they would actually much rather be inside, in their comfort zone, listening avidly to a lesson or playing their favourite instrument in the school classroom.

It is each to their own, as we know - some love sports and some just can't get to grips with - even after years of primary school games -  rugby on a muddy, soggy field, hockey on the pitch on a chilly winter's day or even the idea of getting changed into PE kit and having to get their legs out... for some, school games are simply a nightmare.

Sadly for them, there are very few occasions when a PE teacher will let them get away with missing a session of football or tennis - they've heard it all! Excuses after excuses, forged letters from parents or doctors... they are often tough nuts to crack it has to be said. But what if we told you there might well be just a few excuses you could come up with that might sway them?

All in good humour of course (because they will only ever fall for these once if at all, after all!)!

10 Reasons Why Your Sports Teacher May Let You Off Of Doing PE

For some students, it’s a sorry state of affairs as they look to assert there sporting prowess but for others, it’s blessed relief – not everyone enjoys cross-country runs on crisp February mornings.

Sports at school is on, rain or shine.
Waking up to this is well and nice but it doesn't make you fancy going out on a field to do sport... or does it? Photo credit: hannes-flo on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Now, the government is kicking into action by introducing its draft PE curriculum aimed at putting competitive sport back at the heart of school life. Yikes.

So for those of you who’d rather run a bath than run a mile I’ve compiled a list of ten excuses to have up your sleeve for when you just aren’t up for the cup.

As we said before, don’t take it too literally folks, it’s all fun and games

1. Wardrobe malfunction

The standard, go-to excuse for anyone looking to dodge games or sports day, forgetting your kit or leaving it on the bus (accidentally, of course) could see you warming your tush on the sidelines while your chums chase eggs on a hard frosted patch of bare earth.

Be warned though – sometimes forgetting your kit just won’t cut it; the more sadistic games teachers could force you to strip down to the classic vest/pants combo leaving little protection from the elements (nor the merciless ribbing from your mates). Worse still, you may be marched to the dreaded spare kit cupboard to find a suitable get-up from a hotchpotch collection of stinky shoes, high riding shorts and odd socks… I don't know what's worse!

2. Injury

Feigning an injury is easy, but you’ve got to do it well if you want to pull it off and show that you couldn't possibly compete in a contact sport.

You could get creative with bandages, plasters and any accessories you can find – limps, crutches, casts and muscle supports all give weight to your sob story. But if you really want to go with the twisted ankle story then you'll have to commit and plan this days in advance to come across as genuine - not just 10 mins before PE period!

Try to appeal to the Gym teacher’s heart – if you’re trying to get out of football, for example, try saying you picked up the injury playing county level football or making a match-winning goal save, they’ll possibly feel the pang of sympathy and be pleased to hear you are dedicated to sports outside of school.

If you’re really up against it and need a fix pretty pronto then remember: only a true friend will bloody your nose on request… too far?!

3. Sickness

A decent amount of acting skill and dexterity with a make-up brush will be needed if you want to convince teachers that you’re contagious. Get down the nearest joke shop and stock up on fake scars, fake blood, and latex for that authentic peeling skin look - if only you could get a medal for this! Rope in some arty mates and see what you can come up with. Chances are Mr PE isn’t even going to want to take a sick note from your scaly hand let alone allow you nestle into the scrum…

Of course, the trusted snotty nose might do the trick and save you all the hassle.

No person is going to want you to subject to physical activity when you are poorly.
Your teacher won't want the responsibility of making you feel worse or infecting your peers! Photo on Visualhunt.com

4. Diet Issue

Ever noticed how swimming lessons are cannily scheduled in to avoid being near lunchtime? Teachers know that you shouldn’t swim straight after eating for fear of a ... accident. Try saying your special dietary requirements mean you have to eat at certain times of the day (and woe is you that just happened to be right before the lesson). Clutch your tummy and chuck in an occasional urge for added effect. They wouldn't exactly want carnage in the swimming pool now, would they!

5. Science

Youth obesity is a hot topic in this day in age and the wobbly epidemic that started in the food halls of the US has spread like hot butter on a scone to the fair shores of Blighty.

Time to pull the wool over the gym teacher’s eyes; tell them, you’re conducting a science project whereby you have to spend a week avoiding exercise and eating junk food to measure the result on the human body. Sit back, relax and stuff yer face while as the rest of the class huff and puff their way through an hour of exercise. It's worth a shot in any case!

6. Religion

Thou shalt not worship false deities, so the command goes. Well, yeah you can – stick your thinking cap on and come up with a name for a new religion, and when games time comes around calmly inform teach that your new-found faith forbids you from taking part in competitive sport. Try to look insulted should they question your god, but that's if you don't insult their intelligence first and foremost by cracking out this cheeky excuse.

7. Eyewear

Losing or breaking your glasses is surely enough to render you benched come games time, right? That pudding can never be over-egged so stumble around arms outstretched, bump into things and talk to inanimate objects – make sure your teacher knows that coordination is impossible without your wire-framed friends. Probably only going to work for our bespectacled brethren...

8. Allergies

Did you know that grass pollen is known to cause a variety of different allergic reactions such as allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and asthma? Well, you do now – saying you’re allergic to grass pretty much covers from a long Summer of competitive sport. But it might also have you quarantined in the school all day too, even at break times, for your safety, of course. Well, it was nice having friends for a short while, but you can sacrifice them for a term of no school games, right...

9. Fear

If the allergy excuse isn’t getting you anywhere there are plenty of freaky phobias to fall back on. Break out the long words like Auctoritasophobia (fear of authority figures i.e teachers), Aquaphobia (no swimming for you) or Rupophobia (fear of mud and dirt). Sod it – go the whole hog and pull out the ace in the pack; Scolionophobia (fear of school) could seal it once and for all. You might even find that by the time the teacher's looked up all your fancy terms in the dictionary then it'll be time to pack up. You can dream!

Last but not least...

10. Smoke

No Smoke Without Fire, don't they say? What if there's no smoke to begin with?

Pretty risky this, given the amount of trouble you can get into for deliberately setting off a fire alarm and definitely a last-ditch tactical diversion. You really want to make this one look like an accident – a well-placed free kick or a ‘clumsy stumble’ could accidentally set off the alarm without the need for arson. With all the kafuffle and excitement that goes with the fire bell routine there’ll be no time for games.

As we said, there are likely to be repercussions and not to mention being stuck outside in the cold anyway while they try to find the guilty culprit...

One BIG Reason to Not Come Up With Excuses on Games Day

If you enjoy sports at school then the chances are you will continue to be active.
Taking part in school games could get you fired up for sports later in life. Photo on Visualhunt

Okay, so all jokes aside, have you considered stepping out of your comfort zone and giving school games another go rather than writing each PE lesson off entirely for the rest of the term? And being a team player when it comes to the school sports day, when you have agreed to run in the relay team?

Okay, so you may not be the best defender, the strangest shooter, the fastest runner or even the longest jumper but do you really think our nation's athletes were born with their athletic abilities? Of course not! But the reason they got so good was most likely (along with a bit of natural flair, granted) because they got active and they ENJOYED IT!

You don't have to be the best.

You don't always have to be the winner.

You can still set personal goals even if you do finish a race last.

Just go out there and do it for yourself - for your own reasons - and simply try to enjoy the time away from the books! Whether you focus on having a giggle with your friends and teammates, benefiting from some fresh air or challenging yourself to do better, you can find a positive in there somewhere. You see, sports aren't that bad, are they?

There you have it – ten excuses for getting out of school sports and games, lined up and ready to go (home)... plus one really good reason to not bother with the lame excuses and to just get stuck in!

So, what will you do?

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Jon

As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.